MSI Takes The Wraps Off Its GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z

MSI revealed more information about the factory overclocked GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z. The graphics card was originally announced back in May, but aside from some tidbits about its cooling, details were limited.

The MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z graphics card is equipped with the company's signature TriFrozr cooler. This triple-fan cooler utilizes TORX 2.0 fans mated to a massive RGB-lit fan shroud. Airflow through the graphics card's aluminum fins and large copper 8mm heatpipes helps dissipate the heat absorbed by the large nickel-plated copper base plate. MSI said in its press release that Torx Fan 2.0 generates 22% more air pressure than the previous Torx Fan technology.

As you might expect, MSI includes a solid metal backplate that adds structural strength to prevent the card from bending and twisting under the weight of the triple-fan TriFrozr cooler. The fan shroud and backplate are equipped with built-in Mystic Light Sync RGB lighting, which allows you to custom tailor the look of your graphics card to your system using the included MSI Mystic Light software.

Getting down to the actual specs, this graphics card sports 3,584 CUDA cores, 11GB of GDDR5X memory, a 352-bit bus, 224 texture units, 28 streaming multiprocessors, 88 ROPs, a 250W TDP, a 2.5 slot design, and weighs in at hefty 1,707g. MSI's GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z also comes with a standard DVI-D, two DisplayPort headers, and two HDMI 2.0b display outputs, as well as three 8-pin power connectors.

What truly sets the Lightning Z apart from other GTX 1080 Ti based graphics cards is the variety of core / memory settings it offers. Running this card in silent mode adjusts the base clock to 1,480MHz, the boost clock to 1,582MHz, and memory frequency of 11,016MHz. Kick it up a notch to gaming mode and you are looking at 1,582MHz base clock, a boost clock of 1,695MHz, and memory frequency of 11,120MHz. Running this card in lightning mode yields a 1,607MHz base clock, 1,721MHz boost clock, and a memory frequency of 11,120MHz. The Lightning Z even includes a dip switch that allows you to unlock LN2 mode without the need for soldering, jumpers, or other mods.

All MSI graphics cards feature military class MIL-STD-810G certified components that the company claimed enables higher stability and reliability. MSI also bundles its Afterburner utility, which is an overclocking tool that also allows you to benchmark your graphics card, customize fan profiles, and capture video.

We reached out to the company for information on pricing and availability.

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Header Cell - Column 0 MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Lightning Z
CUDA Cores3,584
Base Clock1,480MHz Silent Mode1,582MHz Gaming Mode1,607MHz Lightning Mode
Boost Clock1,582MHz Silent Mode1,695MHz Gaming Mode1,721MHz Lightning Mode
Memory Size11GB GDDR5X
Memory Data Rate11 Gbps
Memory Bus352-bit
Transistors12 Billion
Texture Units224
Streaming Multiprocessors28
Power Input3x 8-pin
Card Dimensions320 x 140 x 61mm
Warranty3 Year
  • Kunra Zether
    I thought it wasn't Asus strix at first with go fast stripes lol ?? but seriously everyone should look at what sapphire did the the rx 480 that sapphire nitro + card was beautiful to bad they didn't make a 1070 I would have picked it up.
  • ledhead11
    Did I see that right? 3 8-Pins?!?

    I admit I'm curious though for a review. My experience so far with Pascal is that proper power and cooling affect what the final clock speeds are and what OC ceiling you end up with. Hopefully they send one to Toms for review.
  • Th3pwn3r
    Holy crap,. One must be for the RGB.
  • Memphisto
    Holy shit! 3 8-Pins?!?

    This Card will be Overclocked so extreme with a bios where you can change the Voltage!
  • Decends
    Seems like the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Lightning and the EVGA GTX 1080 Ti Kingpin Classified will "duke" it out for king of the aftermarket 1080 Ti.. I'll see myself out now.
  • JackNaylorPE
    Unfortunately, cards like the Classified and Lightning have not had a "raison d'être" in several generations. Back in the day the vastly improved componentry and user's ability to access and edit the BIOS could lead to significant performance improvements that offered value equivalent, to many, to the $100 or so increase in cost.

    It was always easy to justify the cost of the AIB, despite the occasional posts postulating that it made no sense to spend the extra $10-$20 for an AIB. Simply put, the AIB cards better cooling, VRM / memory cooling and improved components allowed stable voltages well above what the reference designs could offer. Now the ROI on spending that $100 Lightning / Classified, Matrox cost premium is just not what it used to be.

    nVidia, using both legal and designs restrictions has taken tighter control over what the AIB partners can do to such an extent that it is, very difficult to really distinguish the cards from one another. Not that the improvements included could not actually result in increased performance, Boost 3 and the lack of a BIOS Editor and the gimped ability to crank up voltages acts like the governor on an engine and regardless of the power and headroom available, limits what the card can accomplish.